The Relevance of Social Reference Points for Energy-Saving Behaviour
15 Jun | At this talk, Prof Renate Schubert and Jiang Zhengyi will illustrate how social reference points can influence one’s tendency towards energy-saving behaviour, drawing evidence from a field experiment conducted in Singapore.
How do social reference points influence one’s tendency towards energy-saving behaviour?
At this talk, Prof Renate Schubert and Jiang Zhengyi from the Making Energy Demand More Sustainable and Resilient research module at the Future Resilient Systems will illustrate the relevance of social reference points, drawing evidence from a field experiment conducted in Singapore.
It turns out that closer reference points are more influential than reference points that are far away. Individuals who receive feedback that their close neighbours or friends are saving more electricity than them will increase their energy-saving efforts.
Yet, one has to pay attention to the “boomerang effect”, such that households with lower energy consumption than their close friends will not increase consumption after receiving feedback.
The insights from this study could be relevant for designing feedback information developed by utility suppliers such as Singapore Power, based on the premise that increasing feedback on very close social reference points increases the effectiveness of such feedback on energy consumption.